Pronoun Is Dead: The Ebook Retail Universe Redux…

By David Kudler  on The Book Designer Site:

On November 6, Macmillan’s Pronoun, the distributor that I had begun to rely on more and more over the past year, announced that it was shutting down its operations. No new books can be uploaded; Pronoun will remove all existing books from distribution on January 15, 2018.

Here’s a helpful set of FAQs that Pronoun has provided about what the shutdown means. Here’s another that details what happens when you remove a title from Pronoun and republish it elsewhere.

There are two small bright points:

You can continue to edit existing titles on Pronoun until they shut down (which is helpful, because I was planning on holding holiday sales on a few).

Draft2Digital announced, the following day, that it will henceforth distribute to Amazon.
This last is great news for D2D users, making it (along with IngramSpark) the only one-stop shop to distribute to the largest English-language ebook retailers.

However, this announcement didn’t quite fill the void in my heart caused by news of Pronoun’s demise for several reasons:

Unlike Pronoun, D2D takes a 10% cut of your royalties.i

Unlike Pronoun, ebooks released through D2D will earn only 35% royalty if priced outside the $2.99–$9.99 range.

Like Pronoun, ebooks released through D2D can’t take advantage of Amazon Marketing Services advertising.

So where does that leave indie publishers looking to release new ebooks?

Well, Amazon is by far the largest slice of most independent publisher’s ebook-sales pie. Having to give up 10% of that revenue is hard; losing the ability to leverage AMS ads hurts as well. Getting a full 70% on all ebook sales, no matter the price, was one of the many things I loved about Pronoun.

Rest in peace, Pronoun. We hardly knew you, but we will remember you fondly.

Here’s what I’m recommending:

Use Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing to release on Amazon directly.
If you have accounts and are willing to spend the time working with the other major retailers, use Apple’s iTunesConnect,ii Barnes and Noble’s NookPress, GooglePlayiii, and Kobo’s WritingLife to upload to those stores.

For any and all retailers you don’t upload to directly, use a distributor such as BookBaby, Draft2Digital, IngramSpark, or Smashwords.

That being said, I thought it would be helpful to update my list of retailers and distributors from two years ago:

Find out more at:

Cut Out the Middle Man: Top Ebook Retailers


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